The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 8, 2005, 02:53 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: November 9, 2004
Posts: 774
185 or 230gr in 3 inch 1911.

I carry Gold Dots in a Kimber Ultra Carry.

What do you think is better though? 185grain, or 230Grain?

Avizpls is offline  
Old November 8, 2005, 02:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Posts: 838
I think either would be fine. But see which works best in your gun. Lately the trend for the short barrel 45 is light and fast. CorBon recently came out with a 165gr round that seems to be catching on. I don't have any first hand experience because mine is a full size 1911.
BobK is offline  
Old November 8, 2005, 02:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: April 19, 2005
Location: Left coast
Posts: 602
a while ago i came up with a custom load. 185gr. at 1100fps. that gives 497 ft/lbs. but i carry a 5 inch, not too sure about 3 inch. if memory serves correct i think 230's were suggested before, but i could be wrong.

edit: my apologies was infact the 185
Dre_sa is offline  
Old November 8, 2005, 03:12 PM   #4
Junior member
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,172
I use 230 ball

Wildalaska is offline  
Old November 8, 2005, 03:16 PM   #5
Join Date: November 13, 2001
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 20
What range do you think that you are going to engage your target? is the question that you have to ask your self. for short range under 10-15 yds the 185 will do the job. for longer ranges you might want to use the heavier bullet since it will retain more energy down range. But they both hit hard That is why I wish the Corps would go back to the .45
The one that does not fight for themself get thier rights and libertys taken away
MARINE1 is offline  
Old November 8, 2005, 05:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: January 18, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 215
I use 185gr JHP Gold Dots in my PT-145... From what I've heard you should go lighter with a short barrel...
Glock 17 Gen 3
Glock 26 Gen 4
S&W 642
Taurus PT145 Millennium PRO
als54 is offline  
Old November 8, 2005, 06:21 PM   #7
Sir William
Senior Member
Join Date: October 13, 2004
Posts: 3,261
A frien says 165 JHP +Ps are all that has been reliable.
Sir William is offline  
Old November 16, 2005, 02:48 PM   #8
Join Date: September 9, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 62
I haven't used them, but Speer is producing "short bore" Gold Dot loads. I think the 45 version is 230 JHP's.
Win62a is offline  
Old November 16, 2005, 03:52 PM   #9
Join Date: October 8, 2005
Location: Chattanooga,TN
Posts: 92
My carry is a Kimber Eclipse Ultra. I have fired the Gold Dots and they performed well; however, my chosen carry load is the Federal 185gr +P Hydrashok.

DocFox is offline  
Old November 16, 2005, 04:29 PM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2005
Posts: 4
185 vs 230

I am told to use 185 +P in 3" barrels as the 230 does not gain sufficient velocity in a short barrel. The 230 is supposed to be best for the 5" barrel.
Smudge is offline  
Old November 16, 2005, 04:52 PM   #11
michael t
Senior Member
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: Out back Ky
Posts: 4,044
If the 230 went any slower in 3" you would need a hour glass to 10 yards. Use 185 or the new DPX Corbon non+p Compact. I love it in my compact. Mine loves the light rounds and has been 100% reliable with them. Not so when using 230.
Certified Armed Infidel Colt Defender ,Colt Mustang ,Dan Wesson CBOB, PPK/S, American Classic 1911,Bersa Thunder 380
http://bersachat.comHome of Bersa
michael t is offline  
Old November 17, 2005, 08:19 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: November 8, 2004
Location: Pierce County, WA
Posts: 2,453
I am told to use 185 +P in 3" barrels as the 230 does not gain sufficient velocity in a short barrel.
I don't know, Speer's short barrel Gold Dot ammo is 230 gr. and not even +P. You'd think they would have done extensive testing to ensure reliability before introducing it to the market. Of course, YMMV.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” - Samuel Adams
IZinterrogator is offline  
Old November 18, 2005, 08:14 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: October 5, 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 881
Originally Posted by michael t
If the 230 went any slower in 3" you would need a hour glass to 10 yards.
I somehow doubt the accuracy of that statement, I feed my OACP a steady diet of 230gr hardball (Winchester white box) when target shooting, and do you know what happens? It travels fast enough to go through big metal boxy CD players from the '80s that don't work anymore. And keep in mind, we're talking from the '80s. They don't make stuff that solid anymore. I could take a solid shaft of wood and continuously jab such a CD player all day and it wouldn't penetrate the outer casing. I'd put my money on the idea that the same idea is true of humans, and I would thus bet my life on 230 hardball in any .45 with a 3 or 3.5" barrel.
stratus is offline  
Old November 18, 2005, 08:36 PM   #14
Junior member
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 2,580
I use 230 grn GDHP in my Defender, very similiar to your weapon. I get my best accuracy with this load, velocity has little to do with my choice. In a gun roughly the size of a Makarov, though thicker, I'll take a .45ACP 230 over a .380(or 9mm, 9x18 etc) of any weight any day. Mine doesn't shoot the lighter bullets as well as the heavy's.

On the other hand, mine shoots +p's pretty well, but you definitely know you've ignited something in a 24oz gun. Control (for me) is about like a 3" K-frame .357. Not overly severe, but not for a newbie either.

I'd use whatever load my gun shot best (and I could control best), and not worry about velocity.
smince is offline  
Old November 18, 2005, 10:48 PM   #15
Junior Member
Join Date: November 14, 2005
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5
My experience is the lighter JHP bullets in the 3" will expand better than the heavier bullets in the 3" barrel. The lost FPS from th 230 gr is made up plus some in the lighter round. You need the speed to get good expansion. But what the heck heavy clothing on the BG will probably clog up the hollow point any way.
vttac is offline  
Old November 18, 2005, 11:08 PM   #16
Junior member
Join Date: February 10, 2001
Location: midwest
Posts: 782
185 win silvertip is my carry load in my 4 IN Champ.
Wildcard is offline  
Old November 19, 2005, 08:21 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: March 16, 2005
Location: Philly
Posts: 489
I usually carry Speer 200gr +P JHP in my Ultra Carry. I just bought some Corbon 230 +P, but I haven't tried them out at the range yet so I still keep the Speer's.
Stupid People will Always be stupid.

NRA Life Member
poortrader is offline  
Old November 19, 2005, 08:23 PM   #18
Dave R
Senior Member
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
Some real numbers...

When I chrono-ed some 230gr loads in my PT-145 (which has a 2-point-something inch barel,) I was only getting about 700fps. The classic .45acp ballistics are a 230gr. bullets at 850fps, right? 700 just felt low to me.

So I use a load with a 185gr. that chronos at about 900fps. I just feel a little better about 185gr at 900fps than I do about 230gr at 700fps. Reliable and accurate in my pistol.
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old November 19, 2005, 09:16 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,747
Although I don't carry my 3.25" CS45 as often anymore ... my lightweight G26/27 and my slightly smaller CS9 are much more "pocket holster friendly" than the CS45 ... I mostly used Winchester RA45T, and occasionally some Speer 230gr GDHP. Both seemed to function well and shoot accurately in my little pistol.

Once, when I loaned my CS45 to some other staff running some limited chrono and gel testing one day, the standard pressure 230gr T-Series load produced 802fps and the 230gr +P T-Series produced 839fps out of my little gun. Who knows what it might've revealed if further testing had been done, like say 50 recorded shots from a couple of different production lots, although I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see some wider variation ... or not. Who knows?

These two shots done using 4-layer denim covered gel didn't dissuade me from considering using the T-Series ammunition in my short-barreled CS45. You can guess for yourself which is the standard pressure and which is the +P load ... which only had 37fps difference between them in these two test shots. (The standard pressure round did 13"/.76 and the +P round did 12"/.77 for those two shots.) Clickable images ...

Naturally, there's no way to know how each and every bullet is going to perform under any and all circumstances, no matter how similar, nor are there any guarantees that any loads will produce the same velocities on any given day, even fired out of the same gun.

I tend to favor the heavier 230gr JHP/BHP bullets at standard pressures, myself.

I certainly can't make this decision for someone, else, though. Everyobdies got to do their own research and studying, and make the best informed decision that can for themselves ... unless the decision is made for them by someone else, like if they're issued specific ammunition and required to use it.

Enjoyable to discuss for the sake of friendly discussion, though ...
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
fastbolt is offline  
Old November 19, 2005, 09:50 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,935
I carry WWB 230gr. JHP's in my Glock 30 and they get 880 fps out of that short barrel. That's a little longer barrel, 3.78".

They expand okay, but I still wouldn't take a chance that they wouldn't overpenetrate.

You'd have to chrono a few loads out of your gun to see how much the velocity actually drops with your barrel.
wayneinFL is offline  
Old November 20, 2005, 01:16 AM   #21
Join Date: October 2, 2005
Posts: 77
Wow, there is a lot of good info here (maybe my 2 cents can add to it).

There is no way you can go wrong (as far as killing/stopping power is concerned) with a major caliber gun (.45/.44/.41/10mm/.40). 230gr is does the job, but if you can't handle to recoil to place two shots in the proper body cavity, to cause that permenate damge, in the quickest time, then go with a lower grain.

Velocity is not the be all to end all when you talk about stopping someone. Can anyone honestly say that a 230gr out of a 3-inch barrel will "bounce off someone's chest?"...of course not. What you want is maximum tissue damage from a controllable package.

Dude as long as you are .45 you are good to go. I would be more concerned with overpenetration.

You can't compare "defensive" rounds with FMJ.....that is just bad ju ju. We are talking about killing someone right...not just target shooting.
H&K4Life is offline  
Old November 20, 2005, 01:50 AM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: November 9, 2004
Posts: 774
Whoa! Thanks alot! I think Im going to stick with 230gr.

It works flawlessly, 185gr just doesnt seem right to me. Maye its a mental block thing, but my .40SW was 180Gr...yaknow?

Thanks for all the info guys. This is a good thread!
Avizpls is offline  
Old November 20, 2005, 02:55 PM   #23
Join Date: April 17, 2005
Location: peoples republik of kalifornication
Posts: 84
a chrono would help too
tinkanting is offline  
Old November 20, 2005, 02:59 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,747
Don't forget that this is something that is an individual decision, and may require a lot of research and consideration before you feel comfortable making an informed decision with which you feel satisfied.

It's also a subject that causes a lot of discussion and which doesn't generate a lot of 'agreement'.

FWIW, the revised Winchester 185gr STHP (Silver Tip Hollow Point) in .45 ACP offers what many folks feel is an acceptable compromise for personal defensive ammunition from the perspective of reduced felt recoil, acceptable reliability and accuracy, as well as expansion. Even Winchester, however, admits that this is intended to be a bullet which offers less penetration than the ammunition commonly being marketed to L/E. A Winchester L/E rep once told me that Winchester deliberately intends this to be a round which exhibits more shallow penetration than the ammunition contained in their Ranger line.

I'll paraphrase, but remember that when Federal first introduced their Personal Defense line of ammunition, they basically said they felt most civilian users wouldn't ever require ammunition with the characteristics necessary to defeat the sorts of intemediate barriers encountered by L/E users, and that deep penetration wasn't considered necessary for ordinary civilian ammunition.

Their current advertising reads:
Premium® Personal Defense® (Featuring Hydra-Shok® bullets)
We hope you'll never have to use our Premium® Personal Defense® ammunition in a critical situation. But if you do, you'll appreciate the increased muzzle velocity and energy compared to standard loads, and the rapid bullet expansion that delivers instant stopping power. You'll also appreciate that recoil is significantly reduced. In addition, our unique clear packaging lets you see the ammo before you even open the box.

Personally, even though I prefer a 230gr bullet in my defensive pistols, if I owned a small-framed .45 that exhibited a 'preference' for a 185gr load, and demonstrated it's best functioning with a 185gr load, I'd use the 185gr load and focus on training.

I'm restricted to using a JHP/BHP by agency policy, in both my issued and my personally owned, off-duty weapons. That means there's a lot of ammunition out there that I'm not permitted to use (i.e. FMJ, expanding non-HP, etc.), but which is preferred by some other folks.

When I carry a chosen load, whether it's issued or personally purchased and approved for off-duty usage, my focus is on potentially using it when invoking my peace officer powers, which can mean some situations not commonly encountered by non-L/E.

Some folks have concerns about the potential for over penetration, which seem reasonable. Other folks have concerns about under penetration, which seem reasonable.

A lot of folks seem to forget the risk offered by bullets which are fired and miss their intended target, and hit an unintended target somewhere else.

While it's certainly an often enjoyable subject for polite discussion to 'debate' the relative merits of different ammunition commonly used for the purpose of lawful defense, it's obviously necessary to remember that in the final analysis we're talking about the potential use of deadly force. I'd spend sufficient time becoming familiar with the laws governing the use of deadly force, and considering the potential criminal & civil repercussions of using it.
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
fastbolt is offline  
Old November 20, 2005, 11:01 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 8,451
I'm using 230 grain +P Gold Dots in my Kimber Ultra Carry. Its been reliable and I think the bullets are launched with sufficient velocity.
KyJim is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.19380 seconds with 8 queries